CCCI sets aside funds raised after quake for microfinance

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Thursday, April 3, 2014


ABOUT P1 million of the amount raised during the BangonSugBohol events in Cebu is being considered for microfinancing in the province, said an official of the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Reagan Rex King, chair of CCCI’s disaster risk reduction committee, said during his meeting with officials of the Department of Trade and Industry Bohol that the chamber is looking for Bohol-based microfinance institutions that will serve as conduits of the funds.

Last Wednesday, King led a CCCI contingent that went to the municipality of Tubigon in Bohol to donate five electric sewing machines worth a total of P80,000.

The funds came from the P2.38 million generated by the chamber from various donation drives held after the 7.2-magnitude earthquake that hit Bohol on Oct. 15, 2013. Of the figure, over P1 million is allotted for the livelihood programs and the rest were spent for relief goods and operations.

King requested DTI Bohol senior trade and industry development specialist Jerome John Gabinto help them look for microfinance institutions willing to manage the funds.

Two microfinance institutions are targeted to be part of the program.

According to King, the money intended for microfinance will not be mixed in with the institutions’ personal reserves.

“The people here (in Bohol) need working capital,” King said.

The official explained that the chamber is considering to allocate the remaining funds for livelihood to microfinance so that many can benefit from it, rather than continuing the dole-outs.

“This move, I think, can maximize the funds,” King sad.

King said the amount regained from microfinance can further be used for other livelihood projects.

Prioritized for financing are those whose source of livelihood has been wiped out after the earthquake.

Aside from microfinance programs and sewing machines, CCCI also disclosed that it is planning to partner with a non-government organization on providing solar power systemto some beneficiaries in Bohol.

One of the recipients of the sewing machine is Sony’s Handicraft which has been in the business for 14 years with only two high-speed machines.

Maria Teresita Israel, one of the sewers of Sony’s handicraft, said the donated machines can help them increase their production. Their products are distributed both locally and internationally.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on April 04, 2014.

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